I posted this short piece in 2015 on Medium where you can still find it. I'm republishing it here because, somewhat ironically given its topic of preservation, I'm less than fully confident that Medium will still be around in a few years, at least in its current "open" form. Exposure to archival practice came from my struggles as a media producer in the emerging digital age. I began designing websites with streaming and downloadable multimedia in 1997, and quickly realized that without an archival plan the situation was becoming hopeless. I saw how quickly technology was changing, and suspected that the media we published on the web at that time would be unplayable within a few years. And the challenge of preserving the audiovisual record has only grown larger since I wrote this in 2015.
I recently completed a short annotated bibliography during a research project for Information Science 501 at the University of Illinois iSchool. I'm interested in the information seeking behavior of academic researchers in relation to resources in audiovisual archival collections, so as to better understand how the materials might be made more findable and useable by humanities scholars. I assumed I would find a wide range of research on this topic. I was wrong.